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Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Live and Let Live: Cows and Pigs


A Swiss Braunvieh cow wearing a cowbell in a field below Fuorcia Sesvenna in the Engadin, Switzerland: photo by Daniel Schwen, 26 July 2007

A domestic sow and her piglet: photo by Scott Bauer, 2007 (U.S. Department of Agriculture)

A cow feeding on birdsfoot trefoil: photographer unknown, n.d. (U.S. Department of Agriculture)

Alte Schweinerasse im Hessenpark der Waldweide: photo by Karsten11, 1 May 2009

Vache d'Abondance: photo by Utilisateur:²°¹°°, 2006

The only free pig in Iowa: photo by Philip Capper, 24 March 2005

i.m. Max Heinegg (1911-1995)


ACravan said...

Live and let live, indeed. That's what I say, but it seems to be an amazingly tricky proposition for most people. The Swiss Braunvieh cow must be a professional, however. She is quite a poser. Curtis

TC said...

Curtis, it's taken me a whole wasted lifetime to begin to have a first inkling of what that simple phrase means. I come from a city built on the blood of slaughtered animals. Talk about benighted.

Angelica's father, driven out of Europe by the Nazis and forced upon the roads of life in a crazy path that led from Austria to Norway to Wyoming to (eventually) New Zealand, had tended cattle as a child, and learnt then, very early, and to his horror, the uses to which one species of living beings routinely puts other species at its disposal; a lesson confirmed for him the hard way, by the Third Reich, in the 1930s, when human beings took the "next step" in cruelty and systematically disposed of other human beings much as if they had been captive animals. He became a committed anti-vivisectionist, spending his later years in voluntary poverty and sending off whatever small sums of money he had to various animal-rights groups all round the world.

Twenty-five years ago he sent us t-shirts made by one of those groups. They were sky blue, with red lettering. The legend on the front read: "I Love Life". On the back: "Live and Let Live".

This post is dedicated to his memory. It means a great deal to me that you've noticed and appreciated it. Many thanks, my friend. (And yes, that Swiss Braunvieh cow with bell in the Engadin, what a beauty she is.)

ACravan said...

I saw and recognized the dedication. Those t-shirts should be republished. People really have a hard time wrapping themselves around basic thoughts, however, especially ones that aren't tied to corporate logos and interests. Obviously, reading about and watching, for example, current events in Syria, and knowing just the recent history of the country, prompts all of the thoughts and concerns (not strong enough a word, obviously) you mention. "For example" further, inappropriately, narrows the focus. But with all the royal wedding coverage on television, who has time for that? Curtis

TC said...

Whoever it was made those shirts would have to be my favourite publisher, no contest. (Can't even remember who might come in second, in that imaginal competition.)

Angelica beautifully wore, and wore out, hers, long ago.

I preserved mine "for history" (!!) in the bottom of a drawer...

Well, I suppose mould is a form of history.


Tom (and Curtis),

Yes, Live and Let Live -- that Swiss cow lounging against the mountain, Vache d'Abondance . . . . Meanwhile, those John Vachon photos + prose travelogue of stockyard tour -- I think I'll have a green salad, please. . . .


light coming into sky above black plane
of ridge, silver of planet below branch
in foreground, wave sounding in channel

idea of painting reproduced,
drawing not including

frame, ground between which
made up picture, with

cloudless blue sky reflected in channel,
cormorants flapping across toward point

TC said...

Well, as a child Max was in a Swiss boarding-school, perhaps not far from the pasture in which that beautiful Belle sits atop this post.

I have in a senior moment conflated that period with Max's later experience as a displaced person/refugee, working on a cattle ranch in Wyoming.

He told this story in a 1994 memoir, Dreaming by Trial and Error.

Now I've looked it up and got that part right, though the point remains the same.